Quick Hits: Prospects, Pirates, Brewers

Service time is often among the most important factors when determining when to promote a top prospect, a new analysis by Baseball Prospectus suggests (via FOX Sports). For followers of teams such as the Astros, who recently netted themselves an extra year of control of George Springer by waiting two weeks into the season to call him up, the findings don't come as a surprise. The study did produce an interesting data point, however. "Fourteen times in the last seven years, a player who ranked No. 1 on one of our Top 10 prospect lists debuted in April," BP's Zachary Levine writes. Among that group, eight were on their club's Opening Day roster, meaning the team valued that player's potential early-season contributions over the possibility of an extra year of control down the road. While the gaming of service time of top prospects is common, it's perhaps not as rampant as you might expect, the study suggests. Here's a look elsewhere around the majors:

  • Being traded to the Pirates is an excellent opportunity for Ike Davis to maximize his considerable talent, Richard Justice writes for MLB.com, praising the clubhouse environment, management and fan support in Pittsburgh.
  • The Brewers and Mets had several conversations about a potential Davis trade, but never got close, Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash tells Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. McCalvy reports that the Mets wanted young starting pitching, such as righty Tyler Thornburg, in return. 
  • Fangraphs' Jeff Sullivan examined what might be fueling Edinson Volquez's early-season success for the Pirates. In addition to showing an improved ability to throw strikes, the right-hander is also throwing better-quality balls when he does miss the zone, Sullivan concludes. If Volquez can maintain these improvements, it'll be yet another successful reclamation project for Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage.


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8 Comments on "Quick Hits: Prospects, Pirates, Brewers"


LazerTown
1 year 4 months ago

To me it should depend how good the prospect is. For a middling prospect it’s not a huge concern if you lose the year of free agency. If you think the prospect is going to be elite then I think it makes complete sense to just bite that 2 weeks of production and then you get that one extra year of arbitration, it’s only 10% of the season that the player would miss out on.

Hope the site problems fixed.

Mil8Ball
1 year 4 months ago

I think your teams situation is the most important. If you think(or if you are a contender in general) you will be in a close race at the end of the season maybe you want to just bring him up right away.

Then again a ton of players really excel right away when brought up after the season starts. Maybe getting warmed up in the minors for a little while helps that transition.

LazerTown
1 year 4 months ago

Sure, but you are not talking about a big difference, especially if as you said the prospect doesn’t go right away. Xander Bogaerts is hitting really good (.271/.411/.356) and his defense is rating out at roughly average for uzr/150 (so it’s not like bad uzr dinging his war), and you are talking about 0.5 WAR so far, and many backups around baseball are at 0.2-0.3 WAR. In baseball it takes a large sample size to really see a huge difference. If you think Bogaerts will be a 5 WAR player you are talking about a very minuscule loss this year for that extra season. ** For this example I’m ignoring the fact that Bogaerts did get some service time last fall.

connfyoozed .
1 year 4 months ago

Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage is a magician: he is certainly one of the best around, since Volquez is only his latest successful reclamation project. He also seems to be one of the nicest, funniest and modest guys in the league when he gets interviewed. As you might expect, the players seem to absolutely love him. He might be the best “free agent acquisition” this team has made in years. (In case anyone was wondering, he was a MLB pitcher for 7 seasons, and he joined the Pirate organization in 2003, became bullpen coach for the 2010 season, and is now in his 3rd year as pitching coach).

Mario Saavedra
1 year 4 months ago

When Darren Balsley and Bud Black fail to materialize great potential and another pitching coach manages to do so, you have to at least give some props to him. Still, Edinson is a pretty streaky pitcher, so that might be a part of his early success.

Smrtbusnisman04
1 year 4 months ago

Ray Searage should be next in line to be extended by the Pirates over Alvarez, Walker, and even Polanco.

GrilledCheese39
1 year 4 months ago

Lots of people on the Pirates could use extensions: Searage, Alvarez, Walker, Cole, Liriano, and Martin. Alvarez and Cole will be the hardest because of Boras. Alvarez, Walker, and Cole are obvious extension candidates because they are part of the core. I personally think we NEED to keep Martin and Liriano around. Tony Sanchez is just flat out not capable of being a major league starting catcher. We also need
Liriano because we have no one else penciled for the rotation next year with Liriano, Wandy, and Volquez as pending free agents, and with Tallion out because of TJ. Even if we extend Liriano we’ll still have spots to fill. Only other ones in the rotation are Cole and Morton…

LazerTown
1 year 4 months ago

Alvarez really doesn’t look good so far in his career, and the dude is 27. He strikes out way too much, and doesn’t get his average high enough to make his obp even respectable. And seeing as Boras is his agent I am highly doubting that they will be able to get him to even think about a friendly extension where it would be worth gambling to see if he can break out still. Pirates can’t afford to spend money with the big guys, they need to find value, and I doubt they will get that from Boras/Alvarez.